Discriminating quantum-optical beam-splitter channels with number-diagonal signal states: Applications to quantum reading and target detection

Ranjith Nair
2011 Physical Review A. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics  
We consider the problem of distinguishing, with minimum probability of error, two optical beam-splitter channels with unequal complex-valued reflectivities using general quantum probe states entangled over M signal and M' idler mode pairs of which the signal modes are bounced off the beam splitter while the idler modes are retained losslessly. We obtain a lower bound on the output state fidelity valid for any pure input state. We define number-diagonal signal (NDS) states to be input states
more » ... e density operator in the signal modes is diagonal in the multimode number basis. For such input states, we derive series formulas for the optimal error probability, the output state fidelity, and the Chernoff-type upper bounds on the error probability. For the special cases of quantum reading of a classical digital memory and target detection (for which the reflectivities are real valued), we show that for a given input signal photon probability distribution, the fidelity is minimized by the NDS states with that distribution and that for a given average total signal energy N_s, the fidelity is minimized by any multimode Fock state with N_s total signal photons. For reading of an ideal memory, it is shown that Fock state inputs minimize the Chernoff bound. For target detection under high-loss conditions, a no-go result showing the lack of appreciable quantum advantage over coherent state transmitters is derived. A comparison of the error probability performance for quantum reading of number state and two-mode squeezed vacuum state (or EPR state) transmitters relative to coherent state transmitters is presented for various values of the reflectances. While the nonclassical states in general perform better than the coherent state, the quantitative performance gains differ depending on the values of the reflectances.
doi:10.1103/physreva.84.032312 fatcat:modxlis3knf2bhwb5x2wivreiq